Debate over impact of Emirati job protection
February 20. 2009 9:30AM UAE / February 20. 2009 5:30AM GMT
Private-sector companies are more likely to employ Emiratis because of a new government policy that protects them from being laid off, a labour official said yesterday to counter claims to the contrary.
Feddah Lootah, the acting director general of the National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia), said Emiratis would feel more secure in their jobs knowing they cannot be laid off. As a result, they will “increase their productivity, performance and loyalty”. Companies will become aware of that trend and will recruit more Emiratis, she said.
Mrs. Feddah Lootah, the acting director general of the National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia), demonstrating how a protected job ensures increased performance.
Yeah, right. I'm sure everyone agrees with her that making someone unsackable makes them work harder and improves their productivity... That's why Government civil servants the world over are well known for being so hard working and productive I guess.
She clearly doesn't really understand the question, and in her reply simply emphasises that the law is the law:
...Responding to a question if Tanmia was worried if the new rule will make private companies shy away from employing Emiratis, Lootah said that “companies need to remember that there are Cabinet decisions that have enforced Emiratisation quotas and these rules must be respected and followed”. ...
It seems the comments around the UAE Business community that pointed out the obvious stupidity of the new law, in terms of actually contributing positively to the long term employment of locals in the UAE, were getting to be too much. IE:
In contrast, some business owners and analysts have described the guidelines, announced on Wednesday by the Ministry of Labour, as “counterproductive” and “inflexible”.
Paul Dyer, a research associate at the Dubai School of Government, who specialises in labour policy, said the new rules were “a worrisome precedent” that may serve as a disincentive to be productive.
“This kind of legislation sends strong signals to those who are not motivated from within, that they do not have to put much effort to keep their jobs, and therefore, reinforces a cycle that already exists within private businesses of not hiring Emiratis,” he said. “Hence, firms will resist much more than in the past from hiring Emiratis.”
"Now companies will think twice before hiring UAE nationals," said Hamed Buamim, Director General of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce.
"Any ruling imposing regulations on the private sector will have a negative effect on businesses. Companies will be more cautious in employing Emiratis. Such decisions might discourage employers from employing UAE nationals and encourage Emiratis not to give their best," he said.
Thus, the PR campaign to tell everyone how great a law it is has been started. Ever reliable UAE Government defender Gulf News even printed the following headline to help, even though the article itself clearly reinforces the notion that many in the private sector think it will reduce Emirati attractiveness as employees.
Private sector backs decision to regulate sacking of Emiratis
By Wafa Issa, Staff Reporter
Published: February 20, 2009, 18:15
Dubai: The private sector backed the decision to regulate the sacking of Emiratis, announced by the Ministry of Labour on Wednesday, but some warned that it could discourage employers from hiring Emiratis.
The National Human Resource Development and Employment Authority (Tanmia) said earlier that employers will think twice before sacking UAE nationals following the decision.
And they'll think 3 times before hiring another one, I'll tell ya.
Interested readers can find comments a plenty about this issue on the previous post.